Shipwreck from 1919 washes ashore Surf City beach, according to town

SURF CITY, N.C. (WECT) – The remains of a 1919 shipwreck were spotted on a Surf City beach on Monday, according to the Surf City Fire Department.

The town says the William H. Sumner was a 165-foot, three-masted schooner carrying phosphate, mahogany and ironwood from San Juan, Puerto Rico, to New York.

Former Director of Tourism for Surf City Allan Libby said it’s remarkable the wreck is still here for us to see and remember the past.

“The type of visitors that we get, they appreciate things like this. They understand that it’s not here for the taking. It’s here for the looking and they enjoying and the learning,” he said.

“Several hours after passing Wrightsville Beach, the Sumner ran aground around 8 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 7, 1919, on a sandbar off Topsail Inlet,” a Facebook post from the fire department states.

The town reminds residents and visitors not to remove or damage the remains, because shipwrecks are protected by the state. Doing so would be breaking state law.